New Eco-Justice Concentration Will Prepare Faith Leaders, Academics for Work in Environmental Care and Justice
(ST. PAUL, MINN., March 3, 2022) – United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities this week announced the addition of an Eco-Justice concentration to its master of arts degree program. The concentration will uniquely prepare students to be faith and spiritual leaders and academics in the areas of environmental ethics, ecological justice, and eco-theology. Students will be equipped, through the lens of a religiously-formed and scientifically-informed framework, to address pressing issues facing our planet: climate change, environmental crises, and ecological harm.
“United has a long history of engaging cutting edge social issues, and this new concentration will put United on the map as one of the thought leaders in the area of eco-justice,” said Dr. Demian Wheeler, associate professor of philosophical theology and religious studies. “Graduates of this program will be equipped with theological, spiritual, and ethical resources for addressing the daunting planetary crises of our age and fostering deep reverence for the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part.”
Academic training for the Eco-Justice concentration will include specialized coursework in eco-justice, eco-theologies, and applied issues in eco-justice; founded on core courses in theology, ethics, and religious texts; and finalized with a thesis. Students will be prepared to enter doctoral programs, to work in leadership positions in justice- and change-oriented organizations, or, in conjunction with a master of divinity degree, to serve as ministers or chaplains with eco-justice as a central component of their ministry.
The new concentration builds on United’s curriculum founded, in part, on social transformation and practical theology that prepares faith leaders to address critical social and ethical issues in today's world. It was motivated by a groundswell of interest from students who petitioned for a focus on eco-justice and training to be ethically responsive to environmental issues.
United’s Dean Dr. Kyle Roberts noted,”This new concentration was inspired in large part by our current students’ interest in and passion for caring for our planet and for all of creation, particularly at a moment of looming ecological crisis. Our planetary home is sacred and a divine gift, upon which we all depend; we are responsible for taking care of that gift, not just for our sake but for our children and theirs. My hope is this degree will prepare many leaders to do just that.”
Students can enroll in the new concentration beginning fall term of 2022. To learn more about the Eco-Justice concentration, visit United’s website: www.unitedseminary.edu/academics/m-a/ma-eco-justice/